Title: Safety and environmental implications of coal mining

Authors: Chengcheng Chu; Natalie Muradian

Addresses: School of Resources and Geosciences, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, Jiangsu, 221008, China ' Department of Engineering and Computer Science, University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Avenue, Stockton, CA 95211-0197, USA

Abstract: This paper presents an investigation on the global issues associated with coal mining, including frequent accidents, occupational diseases and environmental impacts. These problems are caused by complex geological conditions, lack of technology implementation, human factors, lack of financial investment, and ineffective safety and environmental management. A comparison analysis of mine safety and environmental protection in selected coal producing countries is presented from the perspective of regulations and practices related to coal mining. The results show that comprehensive and stringent regulations, practical policies, and best practices have been developed to enhance coal mining safety and environmental protection in the past decades in coal producing countries. Risk assessment in coal mines is an important part of protecting workers and the environment, which includes three steps: risk identification, risk analysis, and risk evaluation. Some suggestions for controlling and preventing disasters, such as water inrush, coal dust, gas disaster, roof collapse, fire, and subsidence, are proposed for the improvement of mine safety and environmental impacts in coal mines in the future.

Keywords: mine safety; mining accidents; occupational diseases; environmental impact; risk assessment; disaster control; coal mining; environmental protection; regulations; best practices; disaster prevention; accident prevention; coal mines.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEP.2016.079899

International Journal of Environment and Pollution, 2016 Vol.59 No.2/3/4, pp.250 - 268

Received: 20 Nov 2015
Accepted: 11 Mar 2016

Published online: 17 Oct 2016 *

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